Obrazy na stronie

and steamboats had brought it into connec the wharves. The steamer at length came tion with the busy world, one cannot help in sight, salutes were fired and answered, feeling how secure a hiding-place for the the colors run up, and she came into port in poor scion of royalty this village presented.

fine style. Immediately she touched, the

Prince and his retinue came on shore and And the same remarks apply more strong

went out some little distance from the town, ly still to St. Regis, which lies on the pre

perhaps half a mile, to visit some natural sent boundary between Canada and the

curiosities in the neighborhood—the SugarU.S. But from these secluded spots the

Loaf Rock and the Arch Rock. The Indians, who partake much of the charac

steamer awaited their return. During their ter and roving habits of the Gipsy, wander absence I was standing on the wharf among forth over the surrounding country, selling the crowd, when Capt. John Shook, now at baskets, and bartering whatever of value Huron, Ohio, who will confirm my statecomes into their possession. Those who ment, came up to me and asked whether I' placed the Dauphin among the Indians, was going on to Green Bay, adding that the might be sure that the tomb could scarcely

Prince de Joinville had made inquiries of be a more secret shelter ; but at the same bim concerning a Rev. Mr. Williams, and

that he had told the Prince he knew such a time if they desired to identify him, as the leaving of these relics would intimate, they

person, referring to me, whom he supposed

was the man he meant, though he could not could have had little hope that the habits

imagine what the Prince could want with of the Indians would permit the retention

or know of me. I replied to the Captain in of any traces of royalty.

a laughing way, without having any idea Having obtained all the information I

what a deep meaning was attached to my could without seeing Mr. Williams, I re words, 'O, I am a great man, and great turned to New-York. On the 7th of Decem men will of course seek me out.' Soon ber, I received a note from him, stating that after the Prince and his suite arrived and he was in the city. Upon calling at his ho went on board. I did the same, and the tel, I found that having heard of my journey

steamer put to sen. It was, I think, about to the north, he had come to New-York to

2 o'clock when we left Mackinac. When see me. He accompanied me to the study

we were fairly out on the water, the Captain of Dr. Hawks, in whose presence he con

came to me and said, “The Prince, Mr. Wilfirmed the statements which he had pre

liams, requests me to say to you that he

desires to have an interview with you, and viously made to me. In the course of

will be happy either to have you come to the conversation which took place between

him, or allow me to introduce him to you.' us at my house, I drew from him a de

*Present my compliments to the Prince,' I tailed account of the interview between said, “and say that I put myself entirely at him and the Prince de Joinville, alluded his disposal, and will be proud to accede to to in the early part of this narrative, to whatever may be his wishes in the matter.' which I will now proceed, merely premis The Captain again retired, and soon returned ing that although given in an uninter bringing the Prince de Joinville with him. rupted form, it was in a great measure

I was sitting at the time on a barrel. The elicited by dint of questioning and cross

Prince not only started with evident and inquestioning, so as to obtain all the parti

voluntary surprise when he saw me, but culars concerning the value of which Mr.

there was great agitation in his face and Williams did not seem to be sufficiently

manner-a slight paleness and a quivering

of the lip—which I could not help remarking aware; but there is no thought or fact

at the time, but which struck me more forcewhich he did not express, and the lan bly afterwards in connection with the whole guage as near as a retentive memory can train of circumstances, and by contrast with give it, is in his own words, though some his usual self-possessed manner. He then what condensed. After describing the shook me earnestly and respectfully by the correspondence between him and Mr. hand, and drew me immediately into conThomas L. Ogden, whose letter on the

versation. The attention which he paid me occasion he has among his papers, and re

seemed to astonish not only myself and the affirming strongly the fact that the Prince passengers, but also the Prince's retinne. had made inquiries concerning him imme

At dinner time there was a separate table diately on his arrival in the country, he

laid for the Prince and his companions, and

he invited me to sit with them and offered said in substance as follows:

me the seat of honor by his side. But I was “In Oct., 1841, I was on my way from a little abashed by the attentions of the Buffalo to Green Bay, and took a steamer Prince, and there was an American officer from the former place bound to Chicago, who had attached himself to the party and which touched at Mackinac, and left me behaved in an obtrusive and unbecoming there, to await the arrival of the steamer manner, which seemed to annoy them, and from Buffalo to Green Bay. Vessels which indeed one of the Prince's companions had had recently come in announced the speedy expressed to me his disgust at his behavior. arrival of the Prince de Joinville; public ex So I thought I would keep out of the circle, pectation was on tiptoe, and crowds were on and begged the Prince to excuse me, and

permit me to dine at the ordinary table with French people under an elective monarchy. the passengers, which accordingly I did. On our arrival at Green Bay, the Prince After dinner the conversation turned be said that I would oblige him by accompanytween us on the first French settlements in ing him to his hotel, and taking up my America, the valor and enterprise of the quarters at the Astor House. I begged to early adventurers, and the loss of Canada to be excused, as I wished to go to the house France, at which the Prince expressed deep of my father-in-law. He replied that he regret. In the course of his remarks, though had some matters of great importance to in what connection I cannot now say, he told speak to me about, and as he could not stay me that he left his suite at Albany, took a pri long at Green Bay, but would take his devate conveyance and went to the head of Lake parture the next day, or the day after, he George. He was very copious and fluent in wished I would comply with his request. speech, and I was surprised at the good As there was some excitement consequent English which he spoke-a little broken in on the Prince's arrival, and a great number deed, like mine, but still very intelligible. of persons were at the Astor House waiting We continued talking late into the night, re to see him, I thought I would take advanclining in the cabin, on the cushions in the tage of the confusion to go to my father-instern of the boat. When we retired to rest, law's, and promised to return in the evening, the Prince lay on the locker and I in the when he would be more private. I did so, first berth next to it. The next day the and on my return found the Prince alone steamer did not arrive at Green Bay until with the exception of one attendant, whom about 3 o'clock, and during most of the he dismissed. The gentlemen of his party time we were in conversation. Looking were in an adjoining

room laughing and caback thoughtfully upon what was said, I can rousing, and I could distinctly hear them now perceive that the Prince was gradually during my interview with the Prince. He preparing my mind for what was to come at opened the conversation by saying that he last, although then the different subjects had a communication to make to me of a seemed to arise naturally enough. At first very serious nature as concerned himself, he spoke of the condition of affairs in the and of the last importance to me,—that it U. S., and on the American Revolution. was one in which no others were interested, He expressed admiration for our institutions, and therefore before proceeding further, he and spoke at large of the assistance which wished to obtain some pledge of secresy, had been rendered to the Colonies in the some promise that I would not reveal to any struggle with the mother country, by Louis one what he was going to say.

I demurred XVL He said that he did not think sufficient to any such conditions being imposed previgratitude was evinced by Americans to that ous to my being made acquainted with the monarch, and that whenever his intervention nature of the subject, as there might be was alluded to, it was attributed to selfish something in it after all prejudicial and injumotives, and to a desire to humble the power rious to others, and it was at length after of England on this continent by depriving some altercation agreed that I should pledge her of her fairest colonial possessions, but my honor not to reveal what the Prince was that in his opinion Louis XVI. felt a true re going to say, provided there was nothing in gard for America, and that on every return it prejudicial to any one, and I signed a proof the Fourth of July, when throughout the mise to this effect on a sheet of paper. It U. S. the nation was celebrating its in was vague and general, for I would not tie dependence, there should be an especial myself down to absolute secresy, but left salute fired to the memory of the King who the matter conditional. When this was had contributed so much to the result. done, the Prince spoke to this effect: Such was the substance of what was said by * You have been accustomed, sir, to con. the Prince on that subject. He then turned sider yourself a native of this country; but to the French Revolution, and said that

you are not

You are of foreign descent; Louis XVI. was innocent of any tyrannical you were born in Europe, sir, and however designs toward the people of France, and incredible it may at first seem to you, I have that nothing which he did personally could to tell you that you are the son of a king. justify or excuse the excesses of the Revolu There ought to be much consolation to you tion, that the last foundations of that event to know this fact. You have suffered a were laid in the preceding reign, and that great deal, and have been brought very the misconduct and misgovernment of Louis low, but you have not suffered more, or XV. were chargeable with the sad events been more degraded than my father, who which occurred to a very great extent, al was long in exile and poverty in this though the storm had been slowly brewing country; but there is this difference between for centuries. The people of France, though him and you, that he was all along aware they had no just cause to complain of Louis of his high birth, whereas you have been XVI., yet had a right to do so, of the op spared the knowledge of your origin.” pressive institutions then existing, of the When the Prince had said this I was tyranny of the aristocracy, and the burdens much overcome, and thrown into a state of laid on them by the Church. He then re mind which you can easily imagine. In fact ferred to the changes which had since taken I hardly knew what to do or say, and my place in the form of government, and to the feelings were so much excited that I was present amelioration of the condition of the like one in a dream, and much was said be


tween us of which I can give but an indis self on his part to secure the restoration, or tinct account. However, I remember that I an equivalent for it, of all the private protold him that his communication was so perty of the royal family rightfully belong. startling and unexpected that he must for ing to me, which had been confiscated in give me for being incredulous, and that France during the Revolution, or in any really I was " between two."

way got into other hands. Now you may “What do you mean,” he said, “by being ask me why I did not retain, at all hazards, between two!'”

this document, or, at any rate, take a copy I replied that on the one hand, it scarcely of it; but it is very easy for you, sitting seemed to me that he could believe what he quietly there, to prescribe the course which said, and on the other I feared he might be prudence and self-interest would dictate. under some mistake as to the person. He A day or two afterwards all these points, assured me, however, that he would not and the different lights in which the thing trifle with my feelings on such a subject, might be viewed, came to my mind, but at but that he spoke the simple truth, and that the moment I thought of nothing except the in regard to the identity of the person, he question of acceptance or rejection. And had ample means in his possession to satisfy then remember the sudden manner in which me that there was no mistake in that respect. the whole affair came upon me, and the naI then requested him to proceed with the dis tural timidity and bashfulness of one who closure already partly made, and to inform had always considered himself of such ob me in full of the secret of my birth. He scure rank, when called without preparation replied that in doing so, it was necessary to discuss such topics with a man of high that a certain process should be gone through position like the Prince. Besides which, in order to guard the interest of all parties my word of honor had been so recently and concerned. I inquired what kind of pro solemnly pledged, and a sense of personal cess he meant. Upon this the Prince rose dignity excited by the disclosures of the and went to his trunk, which was in the Prince, that I never so much as thought of room, and took from it a parchment which taking any advantage of the circumstances, he laid on the table, and set before me that I but simply and solely whether or not Í might read and give him my determination should sign my name, and set my seal to a in regard to it. There was also on the table deliberate surrender of my rights and those pen and ink and wax, and he placed there of my family. It was a deeply painful and governinental seals of France, the one, if I harrowing time, and I cannot tell you, and mistake not, used under the old monarchy: you cannot imagine, bow I felt when trying It was of precious metal, but whether of to decide this question. At length I made gold or silver, or a compound of both, I can my decision, and rose, and told the Prince that not say., I think, on reflection, the latter; but I had considered the matter fully in all its I may be mistaken, for my mind was so be aspects, and was prepared to give him my wildered, and agitated, and engrossed with definite answer upon the subject; and then one absorbing question, that things which went on to say, that whatever might be the at another time would have made a strong personal consequences to myself, I felt that I impression on me were scarcely noticed, al could not be the instrument of bartering away though I must confess that when I knew the with my own hand the rights pertaining to whole, the sight of the seal put before me by me by my birth, and sacrificing the interests a member of the family of Orleans, stirred of my family, and that I could only give my indignation. The document which the to him the answer which de Provence gave Prince placed before me was very hand to the ambassador of Napoleon at Warsaw, somely written, in double parallel columns Though I am in poverty and exile I will not of French and English. I continued in sacrifice my honor.” tently reading and considering it for a space The Prince upon this assumed a loud tone, of four or five hours. During this time the and accused me of ingratitude in trampling Prince left me undisturbed, remaining for on the overtures of the King, his father, who the most part in the room, but he went out he said was actuateil in making the proposithree or four times. The purport of the tion more by feelings of kindness and pity document, which I read repeatedly word by towards me than by any other consideration, word, comparing the French with the Eng. since his claim to the French throne rested lish, was this : It was a solemn abdication on an entirely different basis to mine, viz., of the crown of France in favor of Louis not that of hereditary descent, but of popular Philippe, by Charles Louis, the son of Louis election. When he spoke in this strain I XVI., who was styled Louis XVII, King of spoke loud also, and said that as he, by his France and Navarre, with all accompanying disclosure, had put me in the position of a names and titles of honor according to the cus superior, I must assume that position, and tom of the old French monarchy, together with frankly say that my indignation was stirred a minute specification in legal phraseology of by the memory that one of the family of Orthe conditions, and considerations, and pro leans had imbrued his hands in my father's visos, upon which the abdication was made. blood, and that another now wished to obThese conditions were in brief, that a princely tain from me an abdication of the throne. establishment should be secured to me either When I spoke of superiority, the Prince in this country or in France, at my option, immediately assumed a respectful attitude, and that Louis Philippe would pledge him and remained silent for several minutes.

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It had now grown very late, and we parted, be in this country. Now this remark with a request from him that I would of Le Ray's affords the strongest confirreconsider the proposal of his father, and mation to the statement of Dr. Francis ; not be too hasty in my decision.

for it is scarcely in human nature, that if turned to my father-in-law's, and the next

he were acquainted with the secret of day saw the Prince again, and on his re

Williams' birth, he should have omitted newal of the subject gave him a similar

all reference to it; while at the same time, Before he went away he said, Though we part, I hope we part friends.'

the remoteness of the allusion is perfectly For years I said little on the subject, until I

in keeping with the character of the man received a letter from Mr. Kimball dated at

and the nature of his position. And then, Baton Rouge, informing me of the dying too, it is certainly a remarkable fact, that statements of Belanger, and then when this one of the body guard of Louis XVI. report came from the South confirming what should live, not only among the Indians, the Prince had said, the thing assumed a dif but at Oneida ; to which place, by those ferent aspect. This letter is, I think, among shapings of fortune which are often the my papers at Green Bay, but for years I work of those about us, even when our have kept a minute journal of every thing acts seem most voluntary, the steps of which has occurred to me, and have no

Williams had been directed. There can doubt an abstract of it at Hogansburg. Our be little doubt that De Ferrier was exconversation to-night will go down.”

pressly put among the Oneidas to keep I was much struck with the little value, watch over him. in point of evidence, ,which Mr. Williams About the same time, another remarkseems to have attached to the Prince's able incident occurred. Williams having asserted disclosures. After giving me the been idiotic at thirteen years of age, had, abore account, however, he added—“I see when he recovered his reason, no predilecmore and more, that the matter rests be tion in favor of Romanism, and being sent tween the Prince and myself, and I am to Massachusetts for education, became a quite willing that it should. I have been Protestant while residing with Mr. Ely. in hopes that some movement would be In August, 1818, the Rev. Joseph Marcoux, made in Europe in my favor; but, as you the present Romish priest at Caughnawaga, say, the affair must be begun here, and I will gave Williams a letter of introduction to a let the world know all. The Prince can Monsieur Dufresne, then living in the vilnot deny what I say, and my impression lage, and afterwards both of them gave is that he will keep entirely silent.” him letters to a Mr. Richards, of Montreal,

" But silence will be equivalent to con formerly a Methodist minister, who had fession.”

become a convert to the Romish Church, " It will be so."

and who was probably chosen on account I then asked Mr. Williams if he had of his speaking both French and English been acquainted with Le Ray de Chau fluently. These introductions were not mont, during his residence in St. Lawrence solicited by Williams, but came voluntarCounty, and if any thing had ever occur ily from Marcoux and Dufresne. Richards red between them, which would tend to spoke to him on religious subjects, and prove that he had a knowledge of the said that, provided he would return to the Dauphin being in this country. He bosom of the Romish Church, enter the replied, that he had only, to the best ministry, and take some station, either at of his recollection, seen Le Ray once, Quebec or Montreal, Monsieur Duplesses, in the month of January or February, then Bishop of Quebec, would, after a 1819 or 1820, when a conversation to few months, qualify him for orders, and this effect occurred between them. give him the best parish in his diocese, in Williams was at that time a resident city or country, at his option. The offer at Oneida. among the Indians. In was of course refused. But during their this place there also lived a Colonel de interviews, Mr. Richards said to him, in a Ferrier, formerly an officer of the body manner which at the time did not excite guard of Louis XVI., who had fled from his suspicions, that although Joseph MarFrance during the Revolution, and mar coux believed him to be an Indian, he did ried an Indian woman, who is still living. not, and also told him that the Abbe de Le Ray inquired of Williams concerning Colonne, brother to Colonne the French the health and welfare of De Ferrier, add Minister, believed the Dauphin to be living that he had been a great sufferer in ing, and that Bishop Chevreuse of Boston, the royal cause: that the King's family in the year 1807, had made attempts to had been widely scattered ; but that, not discover the Prince. Now, concerning withstanding all the misfortunes of De Bishop · Chevreuse, the following curious Ferrier, he was no greater sufferer than a incident occurred : about 1806, Williams member of the royal family, whom both went to Boston with Mr. Ely, to whose Colonel do Ferrier and he believed to care he had been committed at Long Mea

to do. When Thomas Williams returned to them, he asked Eleazer whether he under stood what the gentleman said to him, and he replied “No.” They then both left him, and walked off in the direction in which the other gentleman had gone; who, though he cannot speak certainly, yet on comparing his other recollections with those of this time, he is of opinion was Thomas Bleeker, the Indian interpreter. The gentlemen came the next day to the wigwam, and the Frenchman remained several hours. Thomas Williams took him out in a canoe on the lake, and the last which Mr. Williams remembers was their all sitting together on the log, when the Frenchman took hold of his bare feet and dusty legs, and examined his knees and ankles close ly. Again the Frenchman shed tears, but young Eleazer was quite indifferent, not knowing what to make of it. Before the gentleman left, he gave him a piece of gold After a few days, Thomas Williams, contrary to his usual custom, returned to Caughna waga, instead of remaining for his winter hunt at Lake George. The cause of this visit he can only conjecture, but thinks it proba ble, that after the restoration of his mind, Thomas Williams had informed Belanger of the fact, and that he came to make arrangements respecting his education. Shortly after this incident, while the family of Thomas Williams were at Caughnawaga, Nor thaniel Ely, of Long Meadows, at the request of some of the members of the European branches of the Williams family, asked Thomas to let him have some of his boys for education; Eleazer was lying in bed in the same room with his supposed parents, and as they imagined, asleep. Thomas strongly urged a compliance with the request, but his wife objected to let any of the children go for education among heretics, lest they should peril their souls. But when he persisted in the demand, she said, “If you will do it, you may send away this strange boy; means have been put into your hands for his education, but John I cannot part with." Her willingness to sacrifice him, and the general tenor of the conversation, excited suspicions in his mind as to belonging to their family, but they passed soon away.

It was decided that both he and John should go; but while Mr. Ely's books show that the board and tuition of Eleazer was paid for, John appears to have been supported at the expense of the Williams family in Masse chusetts.


dows, and who was at that time a member of the Legislature. They boarded with an Irish Roman Catholic gentleman. As Ely was a great admirer of the music in the Romish Church, they all went there. A few days after, the Irishman introduced Williams to Chevreuse, then only a priest, and rector of the church, as an Indian youth who was receiving an education, mentioning his supposed descent from Williams, the captive; whereupon, Chevreuse inquired whether there were many descendants of European captives still among the Indians, and children of French Canadians adopted into Indian families. He replied, there were.

Chevreuse then asked if he had ever heard of a French boy, who had been brought from France, having been adopted by the Indians. The reply was “no.” 6. Now it was curious," said Williams, “that he was making these inquiries of the very person of whom he was in search."

On questioning him concerning the Frenchman, who is said to have visited him in childhood, Mr. Williams said, in effect as follows:

That after the restoration of his reason, about the year 1799, his reputed father went from Caughnaw aga, as usual, with his family, in the month of September, to hunt in the vicinity of Lake George. While encamping on the shores of the lake, with other Indian families, two strange gentlemen came to visit Thomas Williams, one of whom had every indication of being a Frenchman, from his dress, manners, and language; for he remembers understanding a few words, sufficient to know that he spoke in French. He had on a ruffled shirt, and his hair was pow. dered, and bore to him a very splendid appearance. When the gentlemen first eame in sight, Williams and the other boys of the family were sporting on the lake, in a little wooden canoe, and saw them, in company with Thomas Williams, take their seats on a log, at a little distance from the wigwam. As their curiosity was excited, to know who these strangers were, they left their canoe and strolled slowly to the encampinent, when Thomas Williams called out, “Eleazer, this friend of yours wishes to speak with you.” As he approached, one of the gentlemen rose and went off to another Indian encampment, and the other one, who'appeared to be a Frenchman, advanced several steps to meet him, embraced him most tenderly, and when he again sat down on the log made the boy stand between his legs. In the mean time he shed abundance of tears, said “Pauvre garçon,” and continued to embrace him. Thomas Williams was soon after called to the wigwam, and Eleazer and the Frenchman were left alone. The latter continued to kiss him and weep, and spoke a great deal, seeming very anxious that he should understand what was said, which he was unable


In 1814, after the battle of Plattsburg, Mr. Williams and his reputed father went to Albany, at the request of Governor Tompkins, and while in the city, Thomas Williams said, that he had been invited by his old friend, Jacob Vanderheyden, a well-known Indian trader, to spend the evening, and to bring his son with him. In the midst of good cheer over their bottle of brandy, a conversation took place in Eleazer's hearing to this effect

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